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Girl in forest in vancouver

Vancouver

City guide and travel tips

Vancouver is one of the most beautifully-located cities. Downtown skyscrapers are framed by the beaches of English Bay and the rainforest of Stanley Park, and set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. You're never too far from incredible nature, but Vancouver is equally a city that nails urban cool with impressive street art, a thriving foodie scene and trendy locals to go with. It also acts as the perfect gateway to the outdoor playgrounds of Whistler and Vancouver Island, both of which are easily accessible.

Top Things to Do in Vancouver

  • Stanley Park
    Stanley Park is a huge forest-filled park on the edge of Downtown Vancouver. It's almost totally surrounded by water and is home to Vancouver Aquarium and the First Nations totem poles.
  • Capillano Suspension Bridge
    Face your fear of heights and tackle the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It stretches 140 metres long, 70 metres above the Capilano River.
  • FlyOver Canada
    Fly high from the East coast of Canada to the West coast, taking in awesome views of 17 different landscapes and all four seasons.
  • Vancouver Street Food
    The food truck phenomenon has hit North America by storm and Vancouver has a thriving street food culture. Grab a cheap bite to eat from one of the many trucks and sample the variety of food on offer, from French snails to lamb kebabs.  
  • North Shore
    Looking across Vancouver Harbour from Downtown, you'll spot the mountainous peaks of North Shore. This outdoor playground is a great place to go hiking, cycling and plenty more adventure sports.
  • Floatplane Flightseeing
    The thrill of a floatplane ride is a novelty in itself as you experience your first watery take-off and landing! For a seriously jaw-dropping view fly north from Coal Harbour up to Howe Sound fjord, spot wildlife on a sea safari and round off with dinner on the waterfront.

Must visit neighbourhoods in Vancouver

Despite being known for its beautiful backdrop of mountain and ocean, Vancouver still has a lot to discover within its diverse neighbourhoods. From the hippie vibes of Commercial Drive to the parks and beaches of the West End, find out where to explore when you visit Vancouver.
Clock tower in park in Gastown Vancouver

Gastown

Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood, Gastown’s heritage buildings have recently been converted into cool designer stores and some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Take a walking tour to hear the district’s history, browse Water Street’s boutiques or grab some modern Asian food washed down with a craft beer.
Public market on Granville Island Vancouver

Granville Island

Technically a sandspit and not an island, Granville Island draws in lots of locals and tourists, partly because of the colourful buzz of the Public Market. Pick up some fresh picnic supplies from the market and still near the river for a cheap lunch.
Sttreet with cafe's and flowers in Yaletown Vancouver

Yaletown

The city’s original warehouse district; Yaletown is now a busy residential neighbourhood, filled with sidewalk cafes, trendy restaurants and a vibrant nightlife scene. After strolling the brick-lined streets, pick up lunch from a local café and head to the waterfront for an impromptu picnic.
View on Vancouver skyline from stanley park

The West End & Stanley Park

Just West of the city's downtown area, you'll find the West End - home to the famous Inuksuk statue. This is a great place to explore by bike, especially cycling along the Seawall, with Stanley Park and English Bay Beach both nearby.

Neighbourhood vibes

Get more of a feel for these neighbourhoods with our #VeryVancouver video series!

Vancouver tours & activities

People on Vancouver food trucks tour

Vancouver Food Trucks Tour

Vancouver has some of the best food trucks around! Following a passionate foodie guide, you'll get to discover the city's most popular food trucks and dine on a delicious four-course meal.
People walking the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Climb the Capilano Suspension Bridge! Encounter the Cliffwalk; a heart-stopping 215 metre long walkway weaving along the Cliffside of the river's canyon on a series of bridges, platforms and stairways.
Cable car up to Grouse Mountain Vancouver

Grouse Mountain

Your adventure begins on-board the famed Grouse Mountain Skyride. Travel by cablecar to the summit, where tons of fun, included activities await you! Experience scenic chairlift rides, mountain-top eco walks, the Theatre in the Sky, an endangered wildlife refuge, birds in motion demonstration, plus a lumberjack show!

Our favourite Vancouver Hotels

Room in YWCA Vancouver hotel

YWCA Vancouver

This downtown YWCA hotel is a safe and affordable option for all travellers. Comfortable, clean rooms range from singles to quads and come with air con, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi and most have TVs.
HI Vancouver Hostel building

HI Vancouver

Wake up to a free all-you-can-eat breakfast at this lively, clean and secure hostel. Located in the city centre, it offers sociable chill out areas, free Wi-Fi and rooms with private bathrooms.
Dorm room in Samesun Vancouver hostel

Samesun Vancouver

On top of free Wi-Fi and brekkie, there's also a spacious common room, a theatre room and an all important pool table. Daily activities include walking tours and pub quiz nights.

Canada tours from Vancouver

So you've experienced all of the adventure on offer in Vancouver, and now you're ready to tick off some other Canada must-sees? Book a ride from the city and head to the mountains of Whistler Blackcomb, spot wildlife at Vancouver Island and make your visit to Canada even more epic!
2 people riding a horse in the Canada Rockie Mountains

Canada & The Rockies | 11 days

Chill out and challenge yourself in Canada's dynamic duo of provinces: Alberta and British Columbia. Take a hike or ride a bike along the many scenic, wildlife-laced trails. Better yet, we'll put you on a gondola, horseback, helicopter, or whatever improves your view points.
Orca jumping out of the sea near Vancouver

Island Explorer | 4 days

This 500km route takes you to the major highlights of Vancouver Island! You get to experience the natural "wild" west coast of Pacific Rim National Park and the picturesque city of Victoria - all in one great trip. Keep your eyes peeled for energetic orcas!
2 people posing for picture in Canadian rockies national park

National Parks of the Canadian Rockies Eastbound | 15 days

Beginning in Vancouver, travellers will hit the ocean in search of whales before heading east into the mountain wilderness of Banff and Jasper national parks, where sulphur springs, canoeing excursions, and glaciers older than time abound. And since we camp out most nights, you're guaranteed maximum natural contact at a minimal price!
2 people ziplining while on wintersport in Canada

The Powder Rush | 9 days

Love the mountain life, but love exploring too? This small group adventure is a holiday plus ski or boarding trip all rolled into one epic trip. Carve it up!

When is the best time to visit Vancouver?

Vancouver is a year-round destination. Peak time is July-August, with lots of tourists from North America visiting for outdoor activities and events. However, Spring and Autumn is a better time for cheap deals and quieter streets. Come Winter, snuggle up and make the most of Vancouver's food and bar scene then grab your skis and head out to those snowy slopes between December to February.

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